This piece was initially going to be a review of season one of The Flash but I feel that I would not do the series justice without giving far too much away to the poor people that have yet to indulge in its astonishing first season. I was at one point reviewing each episode when the show first started but it became a hindrance to my viewing pleasure and I can honestly say that it is by far one of my favourite shows that has ever aired on TV.
Arrow was something special when it first started and has continued to be a staple of my viewing habits but when Flash came along it made Arrow seem a little less amazing than it had been. I have mentioned my love for the Flash property many times on MGFN and the show has done nothing to damage that affection.
As soon as the finale ended a huge hole opened in my heart, I felt like I had just broken up with a girl that I had been with for a year and created some wonderful memories. If it wasn’t for the fact that season 2 had already been confirmed, I would probably be the bottom of the bottle by now.
DC have had a bumpy ride with their properties but their TV outings have been of a much superior fayre to any of the superhero shows that have graced our screens. Flash raised this bar to new heights and with every episode progressively increasing in quality, it set a standard that other shows will be hard pressed to match.
Unlike many shows, Flash hit the ground running (pun intended). There was no multi episode build up to Barry’s powers being instilled but a straight out of the gates fun-fest. This was obviously helped by the origin being played out in Arrow but even without watching this it was still perfectly coherent as a stand alone series. Even with the crossover episodes with Arrow, you don’t have to watch either show to appreciate the episodes and any semi-geek will have little problem connecting the dots with the characters that lend themselves.
Flash didn’t shy away from its comic book roots, especially in the ways of aesthetic and tact. Character names have always been an issue when transferring to the screen but Flash owned it as a joke with each villain and hero name being given by Cisco Ramone in a comical turn which allowed the names such as Weather Wizard, Captain Cold and Pied Piper to be used almost sympathetically to the comic.
The show also loved to make fan boys squee with delight by dropping easter eggs at every given opportunity. Most notably with appearances by John Wesley Shipp as Barry’s father who originally played the Flash in the fantastic 90’s version of the show and a remarkable cameo from Mark Hamill reprising his role as the Trickster from the same series.
Effects wise, it is up there with the best. A made for TV offering usually skips style over substance due to budget restrictions but the Flash had it both. There are some outstanding set pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in a big budget Marvel movie especially in some of the later episodes when Barry is throwing down with Reverse Flash. The CGI is a better calibre than some big picture efforts and quite frankly I don’t know how they managed to pull it off on a weekly basis.
I’ve banged on about the style of the show and I could easily continue but the real clincher of the show is the characters. I was wary at first when I heard Grant Gustin had been cast as the title character but after falling in love with his iteration of the Flash I wouldn’t want it any other way (sorry Ezra Miller). Gustin bought charm, wit and emotion to the role. He plays the two egos perfectly and manages to make both his characters likeable, a feat that not many people achieve when playing a superhero with a secret identity.
His ensemble crew are all equally relatable and Harrison Wells is a superbly written character that has you second guessing his agenda from the moment you are introduced to him. You know that Wells is a big part of the final puzzle but how and where he fits in is not your typical 101 story arc.
It’s obvious that team Arrow have learnt a lot from the Flash, they have already announced that the next season of Arrow will be lighter in tone and more akin to Flash. It will be fun to see how the two shows coexist moving forward now Flash has stolen the crown and it’ll be interesting to see how the Flash will inspire DC and their future properties.
My final words on season one is if you haven’t already seen it and you like to think of yourself as a bit of a comic book fan, watch it, you won’t be disappointed.